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“Perfection!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

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Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Lankanfushi Island, North Male Atoll, 08290   |  
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8 Nights of Wonder
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Lankanfushi
Jersey City, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Perfection!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

I would have to say that this is the best resort that I have ever stayed at. That is a difficult title to bestow, as so many different things factor into your total experience, but at Gili, everything came out tops! From the initial welcome at the island to our last few minutes at the airport, service was seamless. One thing that made our stay so amazing was our villa - the standard overwater bungalow at Gili. It was huge and beautifully laid out, and the decor blended into the surroundings, making our stay relaxing and enjoyable. I believe the villas at Gili are some of the largest over water bungalows in the Maldives - with a bedroom, living room, patio, rooftop terrace and huge open air bathroom. Superb snorkeling just off our patio - huge amounts of beautiful fish, giant clams, turtles, eels, manta rays - even sharks! We never wanted to leave our villa and had dinner there many nights. The food was awesome - so many different cuisines are available and they are all great due to their team of international chefs. Indian, Italian, Japanese, Thai food were all fantastic - rarely is one place able to provide such a wide array of cuisines and execute them all well. My husband and I are vegetarian and we were well catered to with many options - they were pretty much able to make anything we wanted! :-) The food & wine was actually not as expensive as we had feared - about the same as you would pay in NYC. The breakfast buffet is fantastic with so many options we never got bored, which is pretty rare for us. Spa was fantastic, but obviously not cheap. There is glass flooring below the massage tables so you can watch all the beautiful fish while getting a massage - I thought that was pretty cool! Complimentary morning yoga sessions were awesome - how great is it to do yoga on the beach as the sun rises - instructor was top notch too. Husband and I loved the fact that everything was luxurious, yet relaxed, and you were encouraged to follow the "no shoes, no news" mantra. The only drawback to such a resort is that we stayed here at the beginning of our 2 week vacation - everywhere else was such a letdown. I will be begging my husband to take me back here very soon!

Room Tip: Get a villa on jetty #3 facing the reef - water is the deepest here and you can swim right over to t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Chillertracks,

Thanks indeed for posting an excellent review on Gili Lankanfushi and for considering us the "best resort" in the Maldives. I am really delighted to read that you had a perfect holidays with us and we exceeded your expectations. It was indeed a pleasure reading your comments of appreciation with regards to villa set up, foods and services which I shared with my team. We really look forward to welcoming you back again to our little piece of paradise.

Kind regards, Iain
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (208)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Overall
Best resort hotel I have ever stayed at. Truly magnificent on every level if you are looking for a relaxing holiday, in a very private setting, want to feel like you are the only ones on the island and are happy to have low-key luxury, dont want to get dressed up at night, and don’t need to party all night long. It is unsurprising they just one the award for best resort and spa globally in the World Travel awards. It’s also worthy of note that this hotel is very eco friendly. Really make an effort to cut down on waste and use recycled materials and educate guests on marine life and how to protect the reef.
Rooms
Very large and private. Expansive seating are both in the sun, by the water, in the shade, on lounger chairs, sun beds and hammock style seating. Makes it very easy to spend the whole day relaxing in your room and then just jump into the sea for a cool off or snorkel. Huge bathroom with lovely bath and shower facilities as well as private ocean swimming area. Nice air conditioned bedroom (only the bedroom) with corner windows and magnificent views of the sea. Four different Jetties to choose from, each with different benefits.
Food
Fantastic food. Great breakfast buffet on the beach with anything you could want include 15 jams, 15 honeys, wonderful cheese, meats and chocolates (yes for breakfast!), crepes, French toast, eggs etc etc. Great lunch choices in over water bar and various dinner options including themed nights (we had Mediterranean and Asian buffet nights) and Over the Sea, Japanese sushi restaurant is good too. Excellent food but very expensive (everything needs to be imported to Maldives) and worth getting the half board package. Only slight disappointment was the speed of service in the restaurants – dont wait until you are hungry to go for dinner – usually takes 30 mins to get your first course. When the food arrives however it is worth the wait as everything is delicious !
Service
300 staff serving 85 guests. They go above and beyond. Same person cleans you room every day, same people serve you at meals, Mr Friday caters to your every need personally as though he is your personal concierge. Just when you think you need him, he is magically there. Big thanks to Waheed who was great and managed to get “Out of Africa”, my wife’s favourite movie to be shown in the Jungle Cinema even though they did not have it and also put it on an ipad for us so we could finish watching it the next night. Management were very attentive and checked in to see everything was going well. Special thanks to Alex (Resort Manager) during our stay and to Iain (General Manager) for getting us onto the Jetty we preferred.
Activities
Anything you want to do can be arranged (fishing, scuba, snorkelling, canoeing, wind surfing, water skiing etc). Dolphin cruise was a highlight for us. Lagoon is very large and protected from the winds so ideal for swimming and snorkelling – basically a big, clear swimming pool. Basically go to relax rather than exhaust yourself !

Location
Very convenient from the airport, only 15 mins by speedboat. Makes the most of the time you have in Maldives. Downside is you are nearer to boat traffic into the neighbouring port island and get some flyovers by seaplane and jets as they come in to land or take off from Male aiport. Thankfully there are not that many flights though each day

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Robert S,

Thank you very much for posting such a wonderful review on Gili Lankanfushi. It is really nice to read your detailed comments from rooms to foods down to service and activities we had in the resort. It will surely help our future guests as to what they can expect from us. I have shared your comments with Waheed and Alec and they are happy to read your fantastic experience as well. We all look forward to welcoming you back to the island soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

If you are looking for peace of mind look no further - no wrinkles no unsuspecting disappointments, the staff are to a man and women exceptional, attentive and commensurate professionals, cheerful to a fault. Step off the plane and be eating breakfast on the beach 60 minutes later no long lengthy or disrupted transfers. Food is healthy, tasty interesting, exciting and tastes great. The little things are taken care of with the simple result that you get what is written on this tin - peace and plenty of it.

Room Tip: The Crusoe Villas - probably numbers 2-4 offer the best location - the others are great but 2-4 have...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Graeme L,

Thank you for posting a very nice review on Gili Lankanfushi. It was really nice reading your comments on how you appreciate the foods, the resort's strategic location and the attentiveness and professionalism of my team who made your stay special. It will give an insight to all future guests on what they can expect from us. We all look forward to welcoming you back to our small paradise again.

KInd regards, Iain
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Balmain, New South Wales, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

There was a great deal of research went into choosing a Honeymoon destination by both myself and my travel agent and friend from Travel Associates at Main Beach Qld. I was given many choices but could not be happier with the eventual destination.

From the time we stepped off the plane in Male the experience has been second to none. We were fortunate enough to stay in a Crusoe Suite and the accommodation can only be described as spectacular. Every infinite detail has been taken into account with the accommodation and the setting has come straight from a travel brochure. The warm and crystal clear waters seem to go on forever and the serenity of the isolation forces relaxation like no other venue I have experienced before (and there has been plenty)

Our "Mr Friday", Rasheed, is only a phone call away to make any arrangements we could ever ask for and nothing is too much trouble. He and the other staff make all the resort experiences truly enjoyable.

Surprises occur each day at Gili Lankanfushi by way of the food. The lunch time Live Stations really need to be experiences to be believed. At no stage did I possibly think one of the highlights in such an incredible but isolated place could be the food but it is. The themed meals gives you the chance to experience the best of the best from around the globe. (My personal favourite was the Asian Market) Only the best local and sourced produce is used and the isolation of the destination certainly doesn't inhibit the attention to quality.

Finally the management from Gili Lankanfushi. Never before have I met an entire team so dedicated to making sure every aspect of your stay is to the standards they and you expect. There is no more accessible management then this team, so much so that their personal contacts are on speed dial on your room phone should they be required. Upon meeting the team regularly on the island, they genuinely want feedback from their guests to make sure all that can be done is being done. Quite frankly, they are just the sort of blokes you want to have a beer with.

I am not one for writing reviews but this place is that good that it is impossible not to write one. Anyone looking for as Maldivian destination - THIS IS IT!!!!

Room Tip: Can only speak for the Crusoe Villa's and cannot fault them.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Bradan Sophie,

Thank you for posting an excellent review and strong recommendation for Gili Lankanfushi. I am happy to know that we exceeded your expectations and you had a wonderful experience with us. I have shared your comments with Rasheed same with my management team who made your stay special and they are very happy to read your comments as well. We all look forward to welcoming you back again and this time on your anniversary.

Kind regards, Iain
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Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

We have now been to this resort twice once on our honeymoon and then again a few years later because we fell in love it with it. The opportunity to just get away from everything, to float in the clearest water you can imagine, walk on sand that really feels like talc, to watch amazing sunsets, swim alongside the fish that you only usually see in exotic tanks (this is one of the best places in the world from divers, and even beginner snorkellers can not fail to see hundreds of fish), to taste amazing food, sleep listening to the sea lapping your villa and shower watching the fish swim beneath you.

This is absolute luxury all the way, from the moment you arrive you feel special and that relaxing is the only option. The villas are devine in their simplicity and beauty, it is your own castaway hut with all the modern comforts you really don't want to sacrifice. You can chill in your air conditioned bedroom or enjoy the view and breeze on your roof top terrace, or drop off you own sun deck to take a swim.

The only negative I can see is for those of you looking for night life or to get away from your travel companion. If you want clubs and bars and high streets to wander this is the wrong island for you. This place is all about time to really get away from everything and enjoy the company you bring with you, be that your other half, your family, or lots of good books and your iPod. If your idea of a great night out is watching the sun set and enjoying a drink or two with some great food, perhaps a chat with some fellow island dwellers and then a nightcap in your villa this is your paradise.
This is an experience that should be on you bucket list.

Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, January 2, 2013
Dear Sarah C,

Thank you for posting such a wonderful review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to read that you appreciate the beauty of Gili; from the crystal clear water to the sea creatures that can visibly seen within, the taste of the foods and the modern comfort that our villas can offer. Thank you so much for visiting us again after your honeymoon and considering our resort as hideaway paradise. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

With kind regards, Iain
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Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

This has been our first time (but not the only one) in Gili Lankanfushi. One of the best resorts in the world.

The biggest overwater villas we've ever been into. 330m2. Best breakfast ever!! You will love everything!!

Service is refined and exquisite, we had a great week in a Crusoe Residence and enjoyed a lot the tranquility of the island, the relax at the spa, everything was perfect.

Dinners are owesome, at buffet dinners you will be delightfull with such a great variety and tasty food. The set menus are outstanding!!!

Waiters, Ms Friday, staff at diving center, house keeping, personal traineer, spa staff, chefs, managers and pontoon boys are very nice, we only have good memories from this paradise.

I only have to say that if you are allergic to anything you have to tell everyone, because many dishes are spicy (even little) but that is something an allergic person cannot stand.
No spice, no raw, no pepper, no salt!!! yeah! this is me!

Uncomfortable planes noise at some hours, but you get use to it... is the link that keeps you connected to reality in this paradise =D

I should say that you have to be aware that is a luxury resort, it is expensive but it's worthy.

Not only do we recomend this place, but also We'will be back!

Thanks for making our holidays so memorable!

Room Tip: Best villas are the Crusoe residences but opposite there is an industrial island.. so if you mind ab...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Dear Masschusetts,

Thank you for posting such a nice review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am very happy to read that you have consider us as one of the best resorts in the world. I have shared all your comments with my team and they are delighted to know that you had good memories during your stay with us. Thank you also for recommending our resort and we all look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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Bradford, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We have been lucky enough to have visited most of the premier Maldives resorts over the last 10 years including all the One and Only resorts Reethi Rah, Kanuhura and to The Conrad Rangali Island. We have never been back to same island twice, with one exception Gili Lankanfushi - having booked 10 nights immediately upon return from our last visit we were so impressed with the wonderful experience. When we heard that the resort had changed hands we were a little concerned that our 'paradise found' might have changed under the stewardship of new owners. We were delighted to find that the 'perfect' Maldives retreat was as wonderful as ever and if anything had managed to improve on perfection.
When we arrived we were greeted by Iain the resort manager who made sure we had a 5 star experience for every single one of the idyllic 10 nights of our stay. The service was attentive without being intrusive and our 'Man Friday' made sure whatever we wanted would be accommodated with one phone call. They even put on a special personal dolphin sight- seeing trip for my wife's birthday.

FOOD

Having dined in some of the finest resorts in the world we would have to rank Gili Lankanfushi as the number 1. This truly is the finest dining we have come across at any resort. A long chat with the chef revealed the exhaustive processes they use to source the finest local and international ingredients for the menu which is as eclectic as it is flavorsome. We defy any Gourmand not to be bowled over by ingenuity of the chef in creating some truly memorable culinary experiences.

VILLA

Our over water villa was absolutely beautiful and was maintained fastidiously by the room attendant who made sure we were well looked after. Steps at the back of the villa, provided us with direct access to the coral reef which our they gently lowered us into. The crystal clear water and the white sand provided a home to hundreds of the most beautifully colored fish the Indian Ocean has to offer - we had no need to dive to discover this wonderful undersea world a snorkel and flippers provided everything we needed

Spa

Quite simply awesome - We both had massages that made the stresses and strains of the year melt away. My wife enjoyed several of the facial and beauty treatments available, there really is something on offer for everyone, even an old grump like me

Activity

The bicycles outside each room are bags of fun to explore the island and there is a world class tennis court if you fancy a game. The gym was very well equipped and the yoga and Pilates classes excellent. There is all the usual diving and boating trips available but we were happy to relax in our villa. An amazing outdoor cinema shows a classic film on a Wednesday and there is no more a romantic setting on earth,


Overview

If you want the best in The Maldives then for us it has to be Gili Lankanfushi, it has a more laid back and romantic feel than all of the other resorts we have visited - where else can you spend 10 days without wearing shoes and not feel in the slightest under dressed. The staff from the manger downwards were all first class. We are happy to be Evangelists for this wonderful 'paradise found'

Room Tip: All of the villas were excellent
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IainMccormack, Manager at Gili Lankanfushi Maldives, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Dear Ged,

Thank you for posting such an amazing review on Gili Lankanfushi. I am delighted to read all your comments from food, villa, Spa down to activities and your overall experience with us. You have a detailed comments that will give an insight to the future guests as to what they can expect from us. Thanks again for considering us the best choice of resort in the Maldives and we look forward to welcoming you back again to our small paradise soon.

Kind regards, Iain
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Additional Information about Gili Lankanfushi Maldives

Address: Lankanfushi Island, North Male Atoll, 08290
Location: Maldives > Kaafu Atoll > North Male Atoll > Lankanfushi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Lankanfushi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Gili Lankanfushi Maldives 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is a short 20 minute boat ride from Male, the capital of the Maldives. It is a tiny coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villas. The forty four stilted villas plus the vast Private Reserve are crafted in a traditional style from natural materials and offer rooftop and over-water sundecks, featuring open air bathrooms, sumptuous daybeds and a personal entertainment center. For ultimate privacy, we have seven Crusoe Residences that are only accessible by personal boat. Come ashore for some great dining and equally great wines or perhaps a romantic moonlit dinner delivered right to the villa. The possibilities are endless.The interior decoration has been devised to recreate a natural habitat, using sustainable woods, natural materials and traditional fabrics, whilst still offering all the modern day amenities and creature comforts of true luxury. At Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives we are very sensitive to the environment. The utmost care has been taken in developing the island with respect to its ecological balance. The Maldives is a paradise for snorkeling and diving and the resort has its own fully equipped PADI diving school plus a variety of water sports. This place tops the list of must-do destinations for those seeking the aquatic paradise. ... more   less 
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